North-west data specialist Lad Media, which claims clients “can count on our honesty, integrity and professionalism”, has been spanked by a £50,000 fine for sending out nearly 400,000 illegal marketing texts promoting a service which claims to wipe out consumer debt.
The fine follows an Information Commissioner’s Office investigation into the firm, which is registered in Bury and has an office in Sale, triggered by over 150 complaints about the campaign for Resolve Finance, a Bury-based debt management company.
Lad Media told the ICO that it had purchased the data used to send the text messages from a third party data supplier. The text messages – which stated “Government schemes allow you to write off a high % of debt you cannot afford, reply HELP or go to www.resolvefinance.co.uk for information. Or Stop to opt-out” – had then been sent on its behalf by another company.
However, the ICO found Lad Media culpable as it was responsible for sourcing the data. This is despite claims on its website which include “we source and supply reliable and legal financial data, on time and on budget” and “compliance matters to us as does our reputation. As an ICO regulated partner you can be guaranteed of both.”
ICO head of enforcement Steve Eckersley said: “Lad Media did not comply with the law designed to protect people from receiving disruptive spam texts.
“This resulted in over 150 complaints about the text messages they were behind, and undoubtedly many other people were left frustrated and annoyed by the texts. We’ve used these complaints to investigate the firm, resulting in today’s fine.”
He added: “I’d encourage anyone bothered by a spam text to report it via the tool on the ICO website or via the 7726 service. These reports inform our investigations and help us take action against firms responsible.”
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